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We have a super informative topic today that every business can gain a lot of important tips from. I will be sharing what to consider before building out a website.

Every business needs a website to establish themselves. You may not be selling anything for your site but it’s still an important facet in your business when building trust and credibility.

I come across so many business owners and they say that I don’t have a website. I don’t need a website and I’m going to disagree. When you come across someone at a networking event, which ones of the first things that people do?

You take their business card and you either go to LinkedIn to check them out and connect with them or you go to their website. Now, the reason we do this is to check their credibility and to see if the business is legit. If you have a website that’s 7 to 10 years old, I’m going to tell you it’s outdated.

If you haven’t taken the time to refresh, rebrand, update, then you’re actually hurting yourself and you might as well not even have a website because it really, really dates you. You can disagree with me but I have a statistic for you.

Great web design instills trust in your business and 75 percent of users admit to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on the website design and that’s from Standford.

I’m going to give two more statistics from AT&T Business Circle. 94 percent of small businesses don’t have a mobile‑optimized website.

That means when I go to your site on my phone, it’s really hard to use and it doesn’t reformat for my phone. 76 percent of consumers won’t even bother trying to use a website if it’s not designed for mobile browsing because it’s too complicated. It’s too hard, so I opt out and then I then I go to a competitor to make my purchase or to get my service.

Let’s discuss some of the basic rules for web design. Beyond making it mobile‑friendly, make sure to keep your site fairly simple. These days, we have so much information that’s coming at us that if anything is complicated, too much copy, too many images and it’s complicated and I can’t get through the site and get the information I need, I’m going to opt out.

Avoid really large animations and widgets on your site too because that increases the download time. Don’t use any long, unbroken texts. Make sure everything is really easy to read and don’t add any background sound. The reason for this is you never know where somebody’s looking at your website.

If they’re looking at it at work, the last thing they want is a bunch of music coming through. Whenever you’re designing the site, make sure you use the one‑third rule.

Make sure that there’s a third of copy, a third of design, and a third of space. The space is going to make it balanced and make it really easy to maneuver through.

When getting started on your site, whether you’re revamping or starting from scratch, make sure and have a list of your must‑haves. The pieces that really have to go into your site.

Start with your basic pages. Everybody’s always going to need a Home and About Us, maybe a products or Services Page and then a Contact Page.

Create a sitemap for any complicated sites that are maybe over five to seven pages. That way, you have a really good idea of which page goes to what page and how the entire site flows. We at Merge Forward, my agency, recommend to use WordPress. We really like the templates. They have great layouts and are responsive, which means mobile‑friendly.

They also have a content management tool that’s really easy to use. That means that you can learn to go into the backend and update the site yourself. It also has great plugins and it’s amazing for SEO.

You also want to make sure and have your copy and your collateral prepared. That way when it’s time to design, nobody is waiting on any assets.

Then, finally, communicate deadlines with whoever’s designing your site or if you’re doing it yourself, go ahead and put it on the calendar so that way, you can stay on track. It’s very important to remember that there is a process in web design and development. To avoid any complications, you want to stick with these phases below.

Phase number one is strategy. Phase number two is design. Phase number three is review and phase number four would be development.

I have a story for you guys about a client that we worked with. It was a non‑profit, which was an amazing cause and they’re an amazing client, but when it came to the development stage, they wanted to change the theme completely.

What happens within these phases of strategy, design, review, and development is that they all have their steps. Once they are approved, it is hard to go backwards. What the client wanted to do is change the look even though they approved all the designs.

We began the development on the website and then, towards the end, 75 percent done, they wanted to go back and change the theme completely.

The reason that this is complicated is because it’s like wanting a mediterranean home and giving the builder the plans so he can go ahead and make purchases for all the supplies and then all of a sudden you say, “You know what? I think I want a modern home.” We have to go backwards. With the project going backwards, it’s more labor, more time and frustration.

Just remember. Whenever you’re going through the process of creating a website, to make sure and be very aware of all the stages.

Let’s go into the three forward strategies for today. When building out a website, number one, have all your assets ready to deliver. This is what usually keeps the project from moving along.

Make sure that you have your logo in, that you have your copy in so the design team isn’t waiting for those pieces.

Number two, have a clear understanding for each phase to the website process.

Then, number three, make sure that it’s mobile‑friendly. That it’s responsive and that it’s easy to go through on any kind of mobile device.

Our takeaway is, your website for your business is a very important asset to building trust and credibility with your clients.

If you enjoyed this podcast, please share with your friends and colleagues! If you have any other topics on running a business or building a brand you would like to hear about, please leave a comment below.

Remember the time and energy you put into your brand determines the success of your business.

Thanks for your time,

Kasia Johnson

Keep rocking and dream big







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